Penance Priest

Discipline Priest Blog

The times, they are a-changing.

I actually think the times are conspiring. But you can’t mess with Bob Dylan, so “a-changing” it is. Here, friends and neighbors, is what’s up.

  • I’m now in a guild with real holy pallies. Like, two of them. They take care of tanks. Really well. I rarely bother even shielding the tanks anymore. If I have time I will, but it’s starting to feel like a waste.
  • We run with two priests: one is disc/holy, the other (me) is disc/shadow. When we’re both disc, I’m generally on raid, he’s pretending to assist the pallies.
  • Ergo: I am spending 95% of my healing time on the raid.
  • The boss tells me I’ll be doing shadow a lot more, so gear up, sonny.

Raid healing

While we’re here, allow me to teach you how to raid heal as discipline. Ready?

  1. PoM, shield, shield, shield, shield, shield, shield, shield, shield.
  2. See step 1.

I’ve been late to the progression party. Most of the last year I’ve been overgeared for the content I was in, as my previous guild moved very very slowly. I had been hearing about how discipline was falling behind on tank healing, but it wasn’t my experience. Well, now that I’m playing content at-level, and with a tag-team of power-pallies, it’s a brick wall to the face. In progression 25-man content, discipline is not a tank healer. Discipline is a raid healer. Or, as we like to say, with a smirk knowing what a lie this is, a “hybrid” healer. We are “hybrid” only if you have no more than one pally in your raid. Let’s face it though: tank healing is a long-lost dream. I miss it.

To those of you to whom this is obvious, or old news, I apologize.

Oh, one more thing, in case my raid-healing tutorial did not make it obvious. Raid healing as discipline is as boring as watching paint dry, and as challenging as tic tac toe.

I’m not having fun.

Tier gear

You did get my memo about tier 10, yes? It’s rotten, bad to the core, and should be removed from the game post-haste. If you have it already, enjoy it, but if you don’t, you should find somewhere else to spend your badges, especially if you’re a 25-man raider. (BobTurkey has some good suggestions.) If you’re a 10-man priest, the tier gear is a shade less evil.

And LOL if you think the throughput boost from the healing tier bonuses will do anything to improve our standing as tank healers.

Three pieces of T10 shadow are top-notch gear for discipline. Many of us are planning to buy shadow gear instead of healing gear for this tier. Sad. Weird. Confusing. But for those of us who are part-time shadow, it’s a mixed blessing. The shadow tier bonuses are pro.

The tipping point

I have plenty of gold, so I decided to craft the new items early. I got the pants made a few weeks ago, and made up my mind to get the boots crafted as well. They’re not perfect. Festergut’s boots are awesome, of course, but I thought I’d help myself and help my guild by moving quickly, freeing up those boots for someone else when they drop. If I replace my crafted boots later in the expansion, it’s fine; I won’t lament the lost gold.

Here’s the kicker. The healing boots are really nothing special for discipline. Too much wasted itemization on spirit. Everyone needs mana, but that’s just too much for my taste.

So I did something crazy. I made Deathfrost Boots instead.

“But wait,” you say. “Stop right there! How is the hit rating any less wasted than the spirit on the healy boots?”

Well, obviously, the hit is wasted.

For discipline.

Let’s review

I’m not enjoying discipline healing. I’ll be playing shadow half time. I’m buying a ton of shadow gear.

I’m a mediocre shadow priest. Not bad, mind you, just not great. There’s a lot of room for improvement in lots of areas. Since it has always been a neglected offspec, I never really bothered getting too serious about it. But apparently that’s going to change. I’m pretty excited about it; I love learning, I love going from good to great, and that’s what I’m planning to do.

Is discipline healing dead? No. Is it dying? It just might be.


(15) Comments

  1. 1/22/2010 1:56 PM Amber / Obsidian Dragon

    I've been disc raid healing for so long at this point, I nearly had a heart attack and died when I had to tank heal Festergut. FESTERGUT. I WAS OOM AS HE DIED! OOM! WTFFFFF!!!!


    1/22/2010 3:06 PM Unknown

    Even in 10 mans I was having a hard time tank healing one of the tanks on Blood Council. He got down to 38, yes, 38 HP at one point, and boy were we wigging out.

    Still though, two healing with a holy paladin is pretty fun as disc. Even if they constantly snipe you on raid heals.

    1/22/2010 5:06 PM Adam

    So are you saying I should try holy? (I'm currently Disc/Shadow) I'm still mostly doing 5 mans.

    1/22/2010 7:11 PM CGLnyc

    Huh. I haven't had any problems in 10 or 25-man content with my 10man and Frost Emblem gear. Maybe ICC just brings it a notch up, but when I've been in there on the first few bosses, I usually outheal all and haven't had anyone die on me. I do spam bubbles and raid heal, but someone has to.

    Maybe I'm super awesome, or the pally heals are super terrible, or maybe I haven't gotten to the harder content. Guess we'll see this weekend! It's sad my favorite blogging Disc priest is taking a bit of a break from Discing it up.

    1/23/2010 1:24 AM Ben


    I'm enjoying disc, but i'm also buying shadow gear. Doing as much shadow as disc and I don't feel the ened for more anything in disc. Where as shadow can always do more DPS ;-)

    Gobble gobble

    1/23/2010 6:56 PM Unknown

    Shadow is a looooot of fun now. I've been bouncing back and forth myself recently.

    The hit on those boots is probably wasted for shadow as well. I'm swimming in hit! Plus the spirit and gem sockets (SP/Haste instead of SP/Spi + SP) on the "healing" boots are better for shadow too!

    Interesting that you're coming to new conclusions about what disc's role should be now that you're being challenged with harder content and more appropriate paladin MT healers.

    No more socketing for crit to maximize DA procs huh? *wink*

    1/23/2010 7:11 PM Paolo


    And don't think I didn't notice you buy the Ashen hit ring or the shadow tier gear. Wonder what weapon will replace your legendary for dps, eh?

    1/23/2010 10:28 PM Unknown

    No shadow tier gear yet. I'm sitting on badges for now. I can't make up my mind!

    You should take the DPS ring though, it isn't like you're going to miss the 20 mp5 when healing and the proc is horrible. That'll give you more hit so you can stop socketing it.

    The legendary is pretty decent for DPS now. I'm thinking that the Heroic 10 man Saurfang staff will eventually replace it. I won't take any weapons in our 25 man.

    1/24/2010 1:48 AM Adorno

    I haven't found healing as disc boring; in 25 mans it's pretty shield heavy for me 50-60% healing done by pw:s.

    But in 10 mans its a different story. for example, I ranked 5th on Festergut 10man for ehps and pw:s only accounted for 28% of my healing done.

    I've been falling behind on gear quite a lot compared to other priests in the top rankings, but healing style does account for a lot.

    The 3rd best ranked healer for Blood Princes 25man has PW:S at only 28% of his healing done. So this ought to prove that there is room for well used variation.

    1/24/2010 1:57 AM Adorno

    Should also mention, that healer who's ranked 3rd for 25 man Blood Princes, Ironic, was tank healing with just one pally in the raid. So it's still viable if that's your thing.

    And he didnt have the set bonus; so if tank healing is really your thing, get your 4 piece!!

    1/24/2010 5:01 AM Unknown

    I am waiting for Matron to come back with some rebuttal about how exciting playing Discipline is in ICC and how our roles as healers gets more interesting by the minute.
    Maybe I will try shadow.

    1/24/2010 8:49 PM Unknown

    There are 3 ways to raid shield.

    1. Drool on yourself as you blindly shield anyone you can over and over. Obviously I poke fun at this method as its a huge waste of shields and brain potential.

    2. Shield anyone that takes damage. Again this is also wasteful but atleast you healed them for 2k. Also if someone just took damage there is a decent chance they'll continue to take some more damage within 30 seconds.

    3. Actually know the fights and shield the correct people before the damage ever happens.

    Most discs I see in pick ups follow number 1. The good ones atleast do number 2, and the chart toppers that wonder why any disc priest even talks about mp5 or gemming int is number 3.

    It seems obvious and I'm sure most of us feel we're in group 3, but to actually be in sync with a fight makes the entire thing feel like it's in slow motion.

    I used to tank heal and I have to say I was very happy the day we got a second quality paladin healer. Spamming FH and penance while trying to squeeze in shields on other members was what I found boring. Long live playing 10-20 seconds in the future.

    1/25/2010 6:55 PM Adorno

    I regularly place in the top 20 on WoL and WMO. And I can confidently say all three approaches are important, only it's a matter of prioritization.

    An unused shield is not a waste -- it's more like a massive fort buff (and I dont think unused fortitude buffs are a waste).

    If you need int and spirit to maintain a lot of shields and positive healing, then go for it. I gemmed all int throughout ToC.

    1/29/2010 11:53 AM Unknown

    Ah, I'm also a shieldbot in an ICC25 with 2 (some days 3) Pally tank healers. Wouldn't call us "progression" though (we have Marrowgar on farm, but Deathwhisper cheats with these "add" things, which totally confuses our dps).

    I make sure I awlays shield the tanks though, as my Pallies are worse meter whores in vent than any of our dps would dare to be. Suppressing their numbers is therefore an end in itself, which I can justify by saying I like the guarantee that the shield will be consumed to proc Rapture regularly.

    I also PoM the current tank every CD, Penance to proc Grace, and even Renew on tanks... every little helps (suppressing Pally meters, that is - the healing itself is pointless), and it's nice to do something other than PW:S every now and then.

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